One of the more difficult parts of living naturally is dealing with laundry. Natural laundry detergents can get pricey, so for years I used All Free and Clear. It’s free of dyes and fragrances, so it didn’t trigger my allergies. But it’s still not completely natural, and I wanted something better. I’d done some research on homemade laundry soap, but wasn’t quite ready for that yet. So I started looking for a more natural detergent. I needed something that wouldn’t break the bank and wouldn’t cause an allergic reaction in myself or my husband. Then I discovered Ecos laundry detergent. Today I’m sharing why regular detergent is so bad for you, and what I love about Ecos.
I was not compensated for this review, and all opinions are my own.
Why are Regular Detergents Bad For You?
The following is a list of the harmful ingredients in laundry and their harmful effects:
- Fragrance can be made up of any number of harmful chemicals. 75% of fragrances contain phthalates, which are believed to cause diabetes, obesity, and hormone issues. Fragrances are also a huge trigger for people with allergies or asthma. I’m extremely sensitive to fragrances; they cause migraines for me.
- Surfactants are supposed to help the detergent clean better. But they’re almost always chemicals, often known carcinogens. Some are petroleum products. Worse, they don’t have to be named specifically on the label.
- Stabilizers are supposed to help the product last longer on the shelf. But again, they’re chemicals that have been shown to cause eye and skin irritation.
- Bleach is sometimes included in detergents. It’s known to irritate skin, eyes, and lungs. When it mixes with wastewater, it can form toxic compounds that can cause respiratory issues, liver, and kidney damage.
- 1,4-dioxane is a chemical by-product of manufacturing detergent. It causes eye and nose irritation, kidney and liver damage, and possibly even cancer. This chemical has been found in high levels in some detergents.
- Brighteners are chemicals added to detergent to make clothes appear brighter. They usually stay on your laundry, coming into contact with skin and causing irritation.
- Phosphates & EDTA3 are supposed to make detergents more effective in hard water. But they cause environmental damage, particularly in streams and waterways. Many detergents have stopped using these, but use ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) in its place, which does not biodegrade easily, and has been found toxic in some studies.
Why I Love Ecos Laundry Soap
- It only costs a little more than the All Free and Clear. So it’s affordable for my family.
- It’s truly all natural, made entirely from plants.
- My husband has awful skin allergies, and over time he will become sensitive to products we’ve been using for a while. This can be quite a challenge. But Ecos has never caused a problem for him, and after switching to a natural detergent, his allergies are at least 80% improved.
- Ecos is safe for HE machines.
- Ecos is gentle enough to use on baby clothes and delicate items.
- There are several variations, scented with essential oils. The options include magnolia and lily, lavender, and lemongrass. (I’ve only tried the free and clear, so I don’t have an opinion on the others, but it’s nice to have options.)
- Ecos is highly recommended by dermatologists and is much safer for people with allergies or sensitivities.
- Ecos is better for the environment, since it’s plant-based.
- It does a great job of getting our clothes clean. Ecos works just as well as the All, but without the chemicals.
- It’s easily found. You can pick up a bottle at Wal-Mart, or order one here for convenience.
How do you wash your laundry naturally? Do you make your own detergent or buy a natural one? Share in the comments below, then read more: